Power Play

Scripture Reading — 2 Samuel 11:1-27

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent . . . out . . . the whole Israelite army. . . . But David remained in Jerusalem. — 2 Samuel 11:1

David likely had a lot of time on his hands as he stayed in Jerusalem rather than leading his armies to fight the Ammonites. Though he was a warrior, David seemed not to have much appetite for battle at this time.

Late one evening he went out for a walk on the roof of the palace, and he saw a woman bathing. Could David have closed his eyes and walked back inside? Yes. Why did he linger, watching a woman who was not his wife? Why did David send for her even after he learned that she was married to Uriah, one of his top soldiers?

David had become used to having power, and he seems to have thought he was entitled to do as he pleased. He was the king. No one said no to him.

In this story we see that David lost touch with his humanity and that he dehumanized people who got in his way.

One bad decision led to another, and another—and eventually David put Uriah on the front lines of battle so that he would be killed. Then David brought Bathsheba, who was now pregnant, to the palace to be his wife.

But God was displeased with what David had done.

Every decision shapes our heart for service for God or for ourselves.

Prayer

Father, the thirst for power can be intoxicating. Help me to nurture a heart that seeks to serve you. I need your help today. In Christ alone, Amen.